NatCom Development and Investment, which provides 4G LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) services in Nigeria under the brand name ntel, has expanded its network coverage to a third city, Port Harcourt. The firm states that its LTE-A network, which was launched in Lagos and Abuja last year, supports maximum download rates of 230Mbps, although average speeds are said to be around 60Mbps.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that NatCom formally received the assets of moribund fixed line operator Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile subsidiary M-Tel in April 2015, after it emerged as the highest bidder in the government’s ‘guided liquidation’ process with an offer of USD252.25 million. NatCom pledged to invest USD1 billion in the deployment of fixed and mobile services by 2020, signing network rollout partnership agreements with Ericsson and Huawei. ntel made its first on-net test data call in Lagos in January 2016, followed by its first voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) call a month later. Commercial LTE-A services – utilising carrier aggregation (CA) technology in the 900MHz and 1800MHz bands – were switched on in Lagos and Abuja in April 2016. The operator is aiming for 4G mobile broadband coverage of 85% within three years and about 95% within five years of launch.